Zakiya Abdulaziz
Richmond, BC

Zakiya has served as the President of Student Council, Kindlers Society, and Griffins That Give. Visiting relatives in her home country, she has seen the lack of opportunities and resources in rural areas for children’s education, which prompted her to found a club promoting literacy in developing countries. Zakiya is also an avid volunteer at the Muslim food bank, working with Syrian refugees, advocating for single mothers and the elderly, and fundraising for those who are less fortunate. She hopes to pursue a career in law, advocating for global human rights and justice.  

Stephanie Budden
Stephenville, NL

Stephanie takes pride in volunteering with many school and community organizations including Humanitarian Club, Girl Guides, Special Olympics and the Women’s Center. In promoting the theme of preventing violence against women, Stephanie initiated and led a fund-raiser to support women and families in need. Stephanie grew up in Stephenville, NL and plans to start her Bachelor of Commerce (co-op) Degree at Memorial University in NL this September 2019. 

Julia Caddy
Calgary, AB

Having spent many years in and out of treatment for mental illnesses that nearly took her life, Julia now dedicates herself to educating others about mental health. In high school, she began speaking out to media and at events, and working with organizations like Partners for Mental Health, CMHA,, Kids Help Phone, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. She can also be found in Calgary, on billboards and TVs, promoting the Build Them Up campaign in support of the new Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Julia is now pursuing a degree in Psychology and Communications at McGill University in hopes of expanding her advocacy into a career.

Mason Carter
Amherst, NS

Mason has been a pioneering queer activist for Cumberland County for the last three years, helping to put a ban on conversion therapy for minors in Nova Scotia. Mason will be attending the University of King’s College in September to study journalism. They hope to one day work for National Geographic investigating human rights violations, and after retirement work part-time as a professor teaching both philosophy and journalism. Mason’s motivation to improve and sustain the earth stems from the violence they have faced from their community at a young age. 

Noemie Chenail
Montreal, QC

Noémie suffered from an eating disorder that caused her mental and physical distress. After three long stays in the hospital, Noémie finally reached a level of stability, her passion for outdoor sports greatly helping fixing and reaching goals. Her studies in Cegep at Collège André-Grasset allowed her to get involved in different volunteering activities such as the organization of snow camps for disadvantaged children, the construction of gardens specific for bees, and tutoring sessions with immigrant children. Currently studying medicine at Université de Montréal, Noémie hope to work with immigrant and disadvantaged populations as a family doctor. 

Kylie Dennis
Baltimore, ON

In 2017 Kylie traveled to Tanzania, Africa which was a dream come true for her. While in Africa Kylie taught students, delivered school supplies, and repainted schools. Upon Kylie’s return from Africa she suffered from a traumatic brain injury which changed her life. Kylie had to relearn how to walk, and simple tasks became challenging. Although the past few years have been difficult, Kylie is successfully graduating with her class on time and attending Brock University in the Concurrent Education program. Once Kylie graduates and becomes a teacher, her plan is to travel the world and teach in third-world countries.

Matthew Gibson
Montreal, QC

Matthew first faced adversity when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 11. In late 2017, Matthew almost lost his life due to his illness. This did not stop him from achieving his goals. He will be attending McGill University in Commerce.  By sharing his story, Matthew wanted to inspire others. He became an Ambassador for Opération Enfant Soleil in 2015 and the Québec’s Champion Child for the Children’s Miracle Network in 2017. He also raised the most money in his high school during the Terry Fox run. He wants people to remember this: what determines whether your adversity is a tragic or an heartening story is by the way you perceive and deal with it. 

Bethany Kolisniak
Winnipeg, MB

Bethany helped organize awareness campaigns for various human rights issues and served on the planning committee for Unity Group, her school’s LGBTQ+ safe space. In grade 10, she also spearheaded a class fundraiser for a refugee family. Outside of school, Bethany loves working and volunteering at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, where she works directly alongside youth with a variety of disabilities. Bethany was inspired to get involved with RCC thanks to her brother, Jonah, who has autism and is a regular participant of their programs. Bethany will be pursuing a degree in biochemistry at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. She hopes to someday become a doctor and practice medicine in remote underserved communities in Manitoba.  

Julia MacPherson
Quispamsis, NB

Julia is a SHAD Fellow, Alumna of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award Program, French for the Future National Ambassador, and volunteers as a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation team leader, Sweet Caroline Foundation advocate, and Relay for Life organizer. She is the Graduating Class Representative on student council and has participated in many leadership groups, soccer, senior track and field, varsity field hockey, and two bands. She also volunteers at a local nursing home and as a Highland dance teacher for young students. Julia will be starting a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. 

Natalia Malagon
Burnaby, BC

Natalia volunteers as an assistant coach for an elementary after-school sports program, as a girls club counselor, and as an advocate for paediatric oncology/hospital fundraising initiatives for the Canadian Cancer Society. She will be pursuing a bachelor of science in the fall at Simon Fraser University in the program of Biomedical Physiology and continue onto medical school. She hopes to use the experiences and challenges she has faced in life, such as battling cancer, as her impetus to create a meaningful impact on the world around her. 

Vardaan Malhotra
Fredericton, NB

Driven by the personal experiences he faced as a child regarding cultural acceptance, Vardaan helped build stronger intra-communal relations by merging diverse audience bases together. He started Ready Set Lentil Soup, a social enterprise that raised funds for a Uganda orphanage. Varddan also launched the environmental program Food Scoop, focused on reducing food wastage within Fredericton and increasing revenue for local businesses. He also volunteers at the public library and museum. Pursuing engineering as a passionate cross country runner at UNB, Vardaan aims to develop a foundation to explore our universe in search of strategies for the sustainable development of our planet. 

Connor McKinnon
Thunder Bay, ON

Connor is a peer councilor for children with cancer and assists in research for other cancer patients at Sick Kids Hospital. At the age of 6 years old Connor was diagnosed with Stage 4, Rhabdomyosarcoma with metastasis.  His parents were told that he had less than three months to live. Connor has learned determination, the act of positive thinking and how important support from others is. He now volunteers to help others get the support they need. Connor is excited to be starting a Bachelor of Nursing at Lakehead University as a stepping-stone to follow his dream of working as a paediatrician. 

Victoria McMahon
Barrie, ON

In 2016 Victoria developed osteochondritis dissecans in both of her ankles causing her to get surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children. This injury taught her perseverance and the importance of education. She is currently a SCDSB Student Trustee representing student voice at the board level. Victoria also acted as president of Bear Creek’s DECA Chapter and volunteered with the Ontario Ministry of Education Minister’s Student Advisory Council. As a member of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program Youth Advisory Council, she has demonstrated her knowledge of cancer prevention and health promotion. Pursuing kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, Victoria plans to become involved with medicine to ensure access to health care is given to Indigenous people who live in remote and northern communities. 

McKenna Modler
Landsdowne, ON

McKenna Modler lives in a small town called Landsdowne on a dairy farm with her parents and two brothers. She is currently going into her second year of schooling at Durham College for Public Relations. Since 2010, McKenna has been living with a brain tumour and has been dealing with depression and anxiety. She had surgery for a VP shunt that runs from her head to stomach and had a biopsy on her tumour. Since then, McKenna has undergone 70 weekly treatments of chemotherapy to try to shrink or stop the tumour from growing. Even though McKenna may never truly be in remission, she plans to continue to grow and move forward to her future by graduating college and getting a job in event planning or a non-profit charity. It is her hope that she can continue to pay it forward and help others.  

Reagan Morris
Fort McMurray, AB

Reagan identifies as bisexual and grew up in a small town where there was no out person she could look up to and many of her peers were no strangers to homophobic language. Reagan found herself experiencing an immense amount of internalised homophobia and shame. After the Pulse massacre her mind shifted into anger and she knew she needed to do something. She came out that fall and became the president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), and founded the Big Gay Pancake Breakfast. The goal of the breakfasts is to generate funds in a simple, wholesome way for the areas of the LGBTQ+ community that need it most. Reagan’s platform gives young people the ability to be active in their communities in a safe and effective way.

Coleton Myers
Dartmouth, NS

Cole is a competitive triathlete, former competitive runner, swimmer, and alpine skier. In the summer of 2017 Cole was diagnosed with and treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and became involved in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada’s (LLSC) Light The Night walk in Halifax. The following summer, after being diagnosed with a relapse, he created an online auction called Bid to Beat Blood Cancer to continue fundraising for blood cancer research. His aim is to complete a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, followed by a masters, while continuing humanitarian work with the LLSC. 

Hassan Nawab
Edmonton, AB

Graduating as class historian in 2016, Hassan contributed immensely to Lillian Osborne High School by serving on the school’s student council and co-captaining the school’s debate team. A long-term Nursing Ambassador at the Misericordia Community Hospital, Hassan also volunteers for Canadian Blood Services and Habitat for Humanity. Currently attending the University of Alberta, Hassan founded Active Minds at University of Alberta to raise awareness about student mental health. After completing his undergraduate studies, Hassan aims to attend medical school, continuing his compassionate drive to change the lives of people for the better. 

Emily Oulousian
Brossard, QC

Emily is the winner of CBC-Radio Canada’s Virtuose program and among Canada’s Hottest Thirty Musicians Under Thirty. Emily’s passion for music led her to perform as a volunteer musician and fund-raiser in senior residences, hospitals and a multitude of community events. Her humanitarian commitment is reflected in her mentoring activities encouraging youth to lead more balanced lives. To Emily, nothing is more rewarding than to motivate those around her.

Stephanie Quon
Vancouver, BC

In high school Stephanie was part of the Compassion Club, TED-Ed Club, and Coffeehouse, where she organized events and provided leadership opportunities to students. When Stephanie was 15 years old, she founded the Sprout-Save-Share initiative, an organization that engages youth in projects focused on minimizing waste, such as collecting end-of-day produce to donate. Stephanie also volunteers at her local science center and children’s hospital, speaks her voice on multiple youth councils, and worked to create a sensory room for special needs students at her school. In the fall, Stephanie will study engineering at the University of British Columbia. She plans to continue giving back the community through running Sprout-Save-Share and being involved in research. 

Tessa Smith
Peterbough, ON

Tessa has a prosthetic left leg and prosthetic right eye, both lost to her battles with cancer. She created a website called, an all-inclusive, online community for students with disabilities. She was the official Terry Fox Poster Girl, and an ambassador for SickKids. In 2016, Tessa had a short documentary made on her life called ‘Being Tessa,’ and her opinion pieces have been featured in the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, and the Peterborough Examiner. Tessa identifies as queer and is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and recognition, specifically how this community comes into intersection with the disabled community. Tessa is very interested in Feminist Disability Studies and hopes for her career to move towards becoming a professor in this field of study. 

Shailynn Taylor
Moose Jaw, SK

Shailynn knew from a young age that despite living with type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy and fighting a degenerative disease from her wheelchair, she planned to do big things. Shailynn dove into discovering what moving away from home was like with a wheelchair while advocating for accessibility needs, access to rare disease treatments, and volunteering with the Love for Lewiston Foundation. At Mount Royal University Shailynn is presently in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program with a minor in Sociology and she hopes to enter the justice field or obtain her master’s once she has completed her degree.

Allyssa Woodrow
North Battleford, SK

From her dedication to mental health awareness, to spearheading a community-wide “Better Together” t-shirt campaign aimed at bringing people together, Allysa lives a life of love, commitment, and service to our community. After losing four friends to suicide in 2018, Allysa learned the importance of bringing a community together and being an advocate for those suffering with mental health. Allysa also works with veterans, Students Against Distracted Driving, and a mental health support group called “Hugs with Mugs.” Allysa’s dedication to mental health and wanting to create change are the inspirations behind studying Indigenous Social Work in the fall at the First Nations University of Canada.